We've tackled the what and when of your student obligations, now it's time to move on to the how. This discussion is the first of two. Here we tackle the development of smart strategies for regularly occurring academic work such as notetaking and problem sets. In the next discussion we move on to test preparation and paper writing.
Most students tackle their academic work using whatever random method first pops to mind. If you ask students why they take notes or study the way they do, few would have a reasonable answer.
The plan philosophy argues that you can make your life much better by actually devoting some time to thinking through your approach to academic work. It consists of the following three principles:
There's no perfect strategy for a given academic task that will work for all students in all situations. So long as you follow the three principles from above, however, you'll find the perfect strategy for you. Below in the related articles I provide some suggested strategies to get you started, but ultimately it will be up to you to figure out what works.
Simplicity rules. Students abandon plans when they become too time consuming and unwieldy to consistently use. Focus on reducing time, not increasing complexity. And if something about a plan doesn't feel right, change it. They key is to find something that you trust is making your life better.